July 27 2011 - Photo Jottings

July 27 2011


Rokinon 35mm F/1.4 review  Bonus comp at bottom!

The Rokinon 35mm F/1.4 was unveiled in 2010 with much fanfare, and is now available for the Sony “α” mount.  Samyang of Korea makes this lens, among others, but you may find it being marketed under half a dozen different labels.

Optically speaking, the Rokinon 35mm F/1.4 lives up to the hype, with very high sharpness at almost all apertures, low distortion, minimal light fall-off at F/2, and no coma, even in the far corners at F/1.4!  Probably the biggest drawback for most people is the fact that it’s a manual only lens, meaning there is no communication between the lens and camera (Sony models), so if you aren’t familiar with using full manual controls, you might want to skip this lens until your skills improve.

The Rokinon 35mm F/1.4 is best used on a full frame camera; therefore, I can’t recommend it for APS-C models.  Why you ask?  The Sony DT 35mm F/1.8 SAM (review here) is sharper in the centers at all apertures, and stopped down a little will match the mid-sections and corners of the Rokinon. Additionally, the Sony is very small and light-weight, with full auto focusing and metering,
and costs less than half of the Rokinon.  I’ve been bragging up the Sony 35/1.8 SAM since it was introduced, and you can see why by checking out the comp at the bottom of the review!

click for review
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